Domestic Violence

Part of 1. Questions to the First Minister – in the Senedd at 1:37 pm on 20 February 2024.

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Photo of Mark Drakeford Mark Drakeford Labour 1:37, 20 February 2024

Well, again, Llywydd, I thank the Member for that question. He points to the same dilemma that was there in the original question. The purpose of our programmes in Wales is to persuade more people to come forward and report incidents of domestic violence when these occur. You can then read the success of persuading people to have the confidence that there are services available as a sign that there is more domestic violence than there was in a previous period. I think there is a very plausible argument that we are simply uncovering more of what was already there. And the Live Fear Free helpline, which is there 24 hours a day, every day of the year, is there to give confidence to people who find themselves in these awful circumstances that there is always going to be help available to them. And the fact that there are more calls to the line in some years can be thought of as a success of that effort, rather than a sign that things are getting worse. We have just to be careful about the way that we interpret those figures.

Where I absolutely agree with what both Members have said is that those figures are far, far too high, and that there is a huge amount to be done in education, in providing services, both to survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence, to get to the sort of Wales that we want to be, where people don't live in fear of what might happen to them inside their own homes.